Currently viewing the category: "Sweat Bees"
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interesting red ’bee’?
Location: west flank of west flank coastal mountains above pescadero, california
May 26, 2011 9:14 pm
found this pollinator on a ceanothus blossom, above pescadero, california. i’ve searched through google without success. can you provide any information? this is purely a curiosity question so there is absolutely no hurry. i am an ardent gardener and am in the early stages of introducing bee hives to our san francisco neighborhood.
thank you!!!
Signature: chris dillon, san francisco, ca.

Solitary Bee

Hi Chris,
We are supposed to be reducing the number of images we need for our presentation at Theodore Payne Foundation tomorrow, and your photo would be an excellent addition.  We agree that this is a Solitary Bee, but we haven’t the time this morning to research the species.  It sure is a pretty little bee.

Perhaps this is the Mining Bee,
Andrena prima, which is represented on BugGuide from Oklahoma and Arizona.

good morning, daniel!
i’d be delighted to have you use my “red bee” image!  i love taking pictures of insects…& being recently retired, i can now do so more attentively.   i have a battered, because i’m clumsy(!), little canon power shot camera which suits my purpose very well.  i had a wonderful time capturing this image!
she is beautiful!
the red bee was the only one of her type amongs a busy crew of more traditional honeybees and two very loudly buzzing, seemingly irritable & frantic, huge glittering black solitary bees.  they were all engaged in harvesting from both fremontia and ceanothus plants/trees.  the red bee pictured was much less “vivacious” than her associates.  she systematically and thoroughly explored each petal of each flower which she chose to settle upon.   i was at yerba buena nursery, a magical  native plant resource, which is somewhat isolated on the western flank of the coastal mountains, between santa cruz and san francisco.  kathy, the owner, was able to provide info on the black bees.
thank you for your request!   i’ll now search for the theodore payne foundation which you mentioned…this retirement life certainly opens many “learning portals”!

Update:  April 3, 2014
Thanks to a comment from Curious Girl, we believe this may be a cleptoparasitic Sweat Bee in the genus Sphecodes, which is well represented on BugGuide.

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Metallic Green Insect
May 24, 2010
Curious to know what this handsome bug is–his most outstanding feature is his vivid green color.
Evelyn Wolfer
Joshua, Texas (South Fort Worth)

Sweat Bee

Dear Evelyn,
There are several genera of Sweat Bees in the family Halictidae that have green metallic coloration, and we really haven’t the necessary skills to differentiate the genera much less the species.  BugGuide breaks down the categories quite nicely should you choose to pursue additional research.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Orchid Bee in North Carolina?
April 21, 2010
I love your site! I can finally ask someone about the critters I’ve been photographing in my yard. This little green bee was crawling on a lighter on my table one day. It was beautiful and I just had to find out what kind it was. At first I thought it was a Green Metallic Bee, but it didn’t look exactly like one. Then I thought maybe it was an Orchid Bee, but I didn’t think they came as far north as Charlotte, NC. Could you please tell me what kind of bee this is? I’d love to see more of them in my garden. Maybe if I plant their favorite flowers they’ll stick around!
Thanks so much. This site is in my top 10 favorite sites ever!
Rebecca White

Charlotte, NC

Metallic Sweat Bee

Dear Rebecca,
This is a Metallic Sweat Bee, probably in the genus Augochlorini, though the family Halictidae is quite confusing for us.  We matched your bee to a photo on BugGuide.  BugGuide also indicates that it is difficult to differentiate between the three genera Ausochlora, Augochlorella and Augochloropsis. Read Full Post →

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Agapostemon Texanus?
Hey there! Some internet research pointed to Agapostemon Texanus – does this sound right? I live in Portland, Oregon and have never seen these before. If it is, it looks like their range is nation wide. These guys appear to be somewhat common on your site.
Also, most sites I’ve seen have been primarily concerned with identification. I’m interested in a bit more, like where they nest, behavioral patterns, etc. Any good links you can recommend? Thanks!

This is a Metallic Green Bee in the genus Agapostemon, but we are not certain the species is texanus. BugGuide shows reports from the west coast of Canada, Washington state and California. Despite now having any submissions from Oregon, we would take an educated guess that Agapostemon texanus can also be found there. Hogue writes: “They nest in tubular burrows dug in the ground, often in clayh banks.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

A couple for you . .
Dear Bugman,
I love your nickname. I know (by Internet) a retired priest who’s nickname is the same because he does bugs for fun too! We live in western South Dakota just east of Rapid City, NOT in the Black Hills. I have two for you, one I think I have identified from your web site as metallic green bees, pollinating our sunflowers. They were everywhere when our sunflowers were in full spate! The other is a mystery – the closest I have gotten is that by “insect definitions” (which I know very little about) is that this is some kind of fly because it only has one pair of wings. There are actually two pictures taken on different days. Both were sucking on early sunflowers along with some (YOW!) yellowjacket wasps which I manged to avoid, phew! The closest on your site was a Bee Fly, and these were definitely not eating bees! These pretty much ignored me as when I took these macros, they did not move! One appears to onlt have on set of legs, but the second picture reveals three pairs. Bless you for a fantasic site, and not just for kids!!!
Diane in South Dakota

Hi Diane,
You sent us three copies of the Metallic Sweat Bees in the genus Agapostemon. The photo is wonderful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location:  “Dirt” Burnell, Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
We found this beautiful Sweat Bee busily gathering honey and pollen from a wild artichoke in the canyon today. These are solitary bees with metallic green bodies. They nest in a tubular burrow dug in the ground, often in clay banks. They are members of the genus Augochlorella.

ed. Note: (09/06/2004) Eric just wrote in: “The metallic sweat bee is probably an Agapostemon sp. rather than whatever the current name on it is, but they are hard to separate without the specimen in hand.”

(06/07/2004) Are we really a USA Today Hot Site?

Saw your web site – Hot Site from USA Today.
Just shot this last weekend.. The bees were going crazy over this bush in my yard.. Didn’t mind me one bit. It was amazing to me to see how much this bee had stuck to it.

Thanks for the Honey Bee photo John.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination